Our editor-in-chief Nate Yapp is proud to have contributed to the new book Hidden Horror: A Celebration of 101 Underrated and Overlooked Fright Flicks, edited by Aaron Christensen. Another contributors include Anthony Timpone, B.J. Colangelo, Dave Alexander, Classic-Horror.com's own Robert C. Ring and John W. Bowen. Pick up a copy today from Amazon.com!

Posts by Chris Justice

Review: Deathdream (1974)

Deathdream poster

Known originally as Dead of Night but released in America as Deathdream, Bob Clark’s second foray into zombie cinema is an engaging, well invested 88 minutes of thrills, technical artistry, and provocative social commentary about the Vietnam War.

Clark’s early career essentially started with three horror flicks: the zombie films Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things (1972) and Deathdream and the slasher classic Black Christmas. In the late 1970s, he turned to crime dramas with Breaking Point and Murder by Decree. By the early 1980s, his comedies Porky’s, Porky’s II, and the iconic A Christmas Story earned him an office in CinephileLand. Not withstanding that eclectic run, it’s Clark’s early work in horror that put him on the map.(read more...)

Review: Black Christmas (1974)

Black Christmas poster

After viewing Bob Clark’s Black Christmas, horror fans will struggle to view slasher classics like Halloween, Friday the 13th, or Nightmare on Elm Street the same way again. Black Christmas solidified the template that established many of the subgenre’s conventions and tropes, and with Halloween, laid the groundwork for Carpenter’s future success. In fact, Clark claims he gave Carpenter the idea for Halloween to direct as a sequel to Black Christmas. Each film is important, and each added new layers and dimensions to the prototype, but due to chronology alone, Black Christmas deserves serious props for being ahead of the pack.(read more...)

Review: Them! (1954)

Them! poster

OK, let’s state the obvious from the start: movies about giant insects or reptiles, whether they are ants, tarantulas, scorpions, or lizards, are silly, sophomoric, and stupid. There, I said it. But some can deliver loads of fun and warrant critical acclaim. Them! certainly falls into both categories, not only because it was the seminal giant-insect creature feature film of the 1950s, but because amidst its surreal premises lurks an army of portents that foreshadow the absurd cosmological repercussions of the dawning Nuclear Age.(read more...)

Review: The Devil's Backbone (2001)

Devil's Backbone poster

What is a ghost? A tragedy condemned to repeat itself time and again? An instant of pain, perhaps. Something dead which still seems to be alive. An emotion suspended in time. Like a blurred photograph. Like an insect trapped in amber.

Those words begin The Devil's Backbone (TDB), and unlike most conventional ghost stories that seek only to frighten, those words and the film itself force us to think long and hard about the definition of ghosts and their purpose in our lives. Carried by the poignancy of that luminous voice-over, those words and TDB breathed new life into the classic ghost story.(read more...)

Review: Wolf Creek (2005)

Wolf Creek poster

I have to admit this: I don't get out much, and when I do, I rarely visit local theaters.

Having confessed that, I viewed Wolf Creek in a Ft. Lauderdale theater during a recent excursion to Florida. My viewing was a treat, especially since I experienced firsthand how horror films genuinely scare others: I can still hear the visceral screams from three different women in the audience. Having viewed so many horror flicks, I sometimes, regrettably, forget this aspect of the genre. I also was impressed at how prolific and popular the genre has become: most of the films on the venue had a horror slant to them, and during the previews to Wolf Creek, no other genre was spotlighted.(read more...)

Review: Cape Fear (1962)

Cape Fear 1962 poster

The Greek orator Cicero wrote, "Law stands mute in the midst of arms." British Director J. Lee Thompson's 1962 Cape Fear pushes that idea one step further: Law stands mute when confronted with its own overbearing shadow, and when that shadow is outlined with vengeance, all systems of jurisprudence are rendered impotent. The only force that can undermine the law is knowledge of the law itself, and when the latter neutralizes the former, the result, ironically, is chaos and violence.(read more...)

Review: The Thing From Another World (1951)

The Thing from Another World poster

The Thing from Another World, appropriately abridged and known more commonly as The Thing, is one of the seminal 1950s creature feature films that paved the bridge between the horror and science fiction genres. Filmed in Montana's Glacier National Park and an ice storage plant in Los Angeles, The Thing launched the 1950s onslaught of alien invader science fiction classics including War of the Worlds and the cultish Invaders from Mars.(read more...)

Review: The Fog (1980)

The Fog 1980 poster

I can't remember exactly when I first saw The Fog, but I know the experience was within a year or so of its original 1980 release. As a kid growing up in the 1970s, I had the good fortune of having my formative years molded by one of the most powerful, prolific chapters of American cinema. All right, let's face it: I was truly blessed. I didn't know it then, but I sure do realize that now. The Fog is one of many films that forever embedded the power of cinema in my impressionable, adolescent brain. The movie freaked me out when I was a kid, and that experience is probably one of the reasons why I currently write for Classic-Horror. Although released in 1980, the film bleeds with everything that is wonderful about 1970s American cinema.(read more...)

Review: They (2002)

They poster

They boils down to one simple premise: the night terrors we suffered in childhood may linger into adulthood and haunt us again. In the simplicity of that concept lurks the secret to the film's success. Director Robert Harmon wastes no time in offering anything that detracts from that basic concept. Perhaps he doesn't offer enough, which leaves They skimming the surface of our intellect, but the film digs deeply into the visceral heart of our fears.(read more...)

Review: Constantine (2005)

Constantine poster

Thirty minutes into Constantine, I was noticeably impressed and excited to be at the mercy of an original film. After an hour, I was confused. Three-quarters of the way through, I was excited and disappointed. By the film's conclusion, I was duly torn. Wrapped in a bow that dazzles with special effects and over-the-top histrionics, Constantine is really a traditional tale depicting a classic good vs. evil struggle between those most ancient of adversaries: the Devil and his many protégés vs. his antithesis: Good. However, Good in this film is not so good.(read more...)